Is keyboarding replacing handwriting instruction in today’s schools?
This is the question that Connecticut NPR’s (WNPR) talk show host, Colin McEnroe posed to author Kitty Burns Florey in a 25-minute interview on 9/3/209. Florey wrote the book Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting. This is a wonderful book that begins by telling the history of handwriting and the tools used to make it possible. Flory then discusses the implications of promoting (and not promoting) handwriting in today’s society.
Providing counterpoint to Mrs. Florey, McEnroe included me (Leigh Zeitz) as the keyboarding advocate. Actually, Kitty had contacted me while she was writing her book and she had suggested that I should be in the conversation. Thank You, Kitty.
Rounding off the group was Dr. Betty Getty of Portland Community College who developed the revolutionary Italic Handwriting system that can even help doctors improve their handwriting to a point of legibility.
The discussion was an amiable one. It was pretty much agreed that keyboarding and handwriting are both essential skills. Keyboarding is a lifelong skill that needs to be taught in the 3rd grade to get students “off on the right track.” Handwriting is a skill that every person needs to have to allow them to complete the everyday activities.
I tried to introduce how learning to write in the dynamic world of word processing actually changes how we think when we write. It didn’t make much impact on the discussion. The rest of the folks were discussing how handwriting enabled writers to “get he feel of the words” as they write.
You might enjoy listening to the podcast. Here’s the link.
(There’s a prolonged ad at the beginning. Our interview begins about 10 minutes into the podcast.)